Lyon County Schools Relaxing Mask Policies, Other COVID Restrictions

Lyon County, Iowa — Students have been attending school in-person for the most part in northwest Iowa all school year, since August. But there were a number of special policies in place. A few days ago we told you that some of those policies had been relaxed in the Sheldon Community School District. Now there’s word that a couple of schools in Lyon County are making similar changes.

The Central Lyon School Board met in special session this Wednesday to discuss the policy and make applicable changes. According to Central Lyon Superintendent Brent Jorth, the Central Lyon School Board slightly altered the mask requirement. Other changes were also made. Jorth says Central Lyon students and staff in grades PS-12 are still required to wear a face mask when unable to socially distance. There are some exceptions. When participating in PE, Band, outdoor recess, and athletics, and when eating and drinking, masks are not required. Additionally, Jorth says that students and staff will no longer be required to wear their masks while in the hallways, lunch lines, or other common areas; so long as they will not be in those spaces for more than 15 minutes and within 6-feet of another student or staff member.

Many Central Lyon students had been eating lunch in their classrooms. Junior high and high schoolers normally eat lunch in the commons, but due to social distancing, some had to be moved into the gym. Jorth says that starting on Monday, May 3, students in grades TK-6 will return to eating lunch in the lunchroom for the remaining three weeks of the school year. Likewise, students in grades 7-12 will resume eating lunch in the high school commons.

Meanwhile, restrictions are being lifted at West Lyon Schools as well. Superintendent Shawn Kreman says the West Lyon Board of Directors has decided to reduce the district mask policy from “required” to “recommended.” Kreman says this policy change is for all grade levels at West Lyon.

Incidentally, the other public school district in Lyon County has never required masks. George-Little Rock Superintendent Tom Luxford says masks have been “highly recommended if you cannot social distance,” (in other words, not mandatory) since the beginning of the pandemic, and the policy is still in place.